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S04.E08: The One-Eyed Man

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Avasarala faces fallout for the UN's military mission. Ashford and Drummer makes big decisions about their future within the OPA. A spreading illness on Ilus takes a toll on Amos. Alex and Naomi's attempt to rescue the Barb turns desperate.

Airdate 2019.12.13

Keep your discussion to this episode only - thank you!

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This might be my favorite episode so far  this season. All the story lines were really exciting to me and full of surprises. Fred shows up. Drummer quits. Avasarala is loosing her soul to the election. Amos broke down, and Holden nearly broke too.

And the Bobbie storyline is really intriguing too.
"Mars died the moment they discovered these worlds" Indeed!

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Wouldn't Holden's pre-cancerus cells turn up in the blood test?

4 hours ago, Holmbo said:

Amos broke down

That kind of gutted me. Wes John Chatham has been great this season.

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Whoever decided that it was time for us to see Avasarala's walk-in closet and bedazzled vanity: THANK YOU!

Drummer and Ashford splitting up hurt way more than it should. These two were such a power pairing. The bond forged between them during last season's final episode did hold (much to my surprise) and produced really great scenes. The way Drummer looked at Ashford before she left his ship tells me that she does not expect to see him again and broke my heart a little.

Geez, Holden was busy this week. You'd think it can't get any worse than being on poisonous slug duty and being responsible for a bunch of blind people on the verge of a collective nervous breakdown: along comes Doctor Okoye telling you to stick a needle in your eye. (And he still had time to land a nice burn on Murtry with the comment about taking them all to the latrine).

And then Amos loses it - that was painful to watch. During the scene with Holden begging him to keep it together I remembered season one. These two came a long way. 

Now I can say I took you in a fight.

You can say whatever you want. 

Awwww!!!

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15 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

Whoever decided that it was time for us to see Avasarala's walk-in closet and bedazzled vanity: THANK YOU!

And she was  wearing something akin to sweatpants! My life is complete.

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For me Chrisjen didn't loose her soul.  She was right about the ring.  

I don't like her version 2.0 husband.  Please bring back original-recipe husband.  I can't believe he is that naive when it comes to politics.  Chrisjen has been doing this sort of work behind the scenes for how many years now?

Bobby.  I know you are upset - but console yourself with the lovely booty before he leaves. 

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Yeah, new Mr Avasarala made little sense. What did he think his wife has been doing all those years? The interesting aspect of that plot is Avasarala all of a sudden forced to play a game she so far could ignore because she was  appointed and not elected. And I also thought she was right. Gao's position of 'Yeah, Eros was horrifying - but look: 1300 shiny new worlds!!!' needed a counterpoint.

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I am surprised they didn't make a concentrated salt solution barrier to spray on the corridors to keep the slugs at bay. What was the slugs eating. Are the slugs edible? Maybe the slug's neurotoxin could be used to keep the people sedentary and relaxed.

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I did like that the cure were 23rd Century chemotherapy and not some metaphysical proto-molecule bonding mumbo jumbo.

I liked Arjun 2.0. I didn't even remember Avasarala was married! In season three did she even called her husband once when she was on the Roci?

Edited by marinw
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7 hours ago, Macbeth said:

For me Chrisjen didn't loose her soul.  She was right about the ring. 

Yeah, perhaps I was hyperbolic. I meant that she's being sucked into another kind of politics than she's used to. Having to take into account how each decision will make her look, not just what she think is best for Earth.

I think she was right to release the footage from Illus and I'm not sure what Arjun 2.0 is so upset about.

Edited by Holmbo
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Damn, I should have known not to underestimate Chrisjen "Fucking" Avasarala, because she is never one to hold back and not have plan after plan ready to come back swinging!  To be fair, I do think there was a lot of truth being said during her memoriam speech, but, like with most everything in her life, there will always be alliterative motives for whatever she says and does.  Calculating, but admittedly effective.  To be fair to Arjun though, I think it was her bringing up their late son in particular that made him as mad as he was.  I could have seen him get by with the rest of it, but he probably felt like that crossed the line (which I'm sure could be debated.)

So, they finally got time to bring Chad L. Coleman back as Fred!  Great to see him again, but I should have known that it was all going to end with Drummer finally having enough of the OPA and the politics.  Curious to see what is in store for the character going forward.  As for Ashford, it makes sense that he wants to hunt Marco himself, but I don't know, folks.  His good-bye with Drummer really had a finality feel that makes me wonder about his longevity for the rest of this series!  If this is it, it was nice seeing David Strathairn and Cara Gee get one last big scene together.

Oh, poor Bobbie!  I do think it is realistic that a planet and society like Mars would be in trouble if more viable options suddenly became available.

Heh, gold star to the Belter who told Lucia's daughter that he is glad she "hated her parents" or they would have been fucked!  The whole scene with the Rocinante pulling the other ship was gorgeously shot and a nice moment amongst all of the drama and death.

Amos' meltdown was well done and perfectly acted by Wes Chatham.

At least Elvi figured out a cure and everyone is getting their eye-sight.  Of course, now there are the issues of a) Murtry apparently plotting to blow the Belters up or something and b) Proto-Miller returning and just fritzing out.  Yeah, that's not good!
 

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Whoever decided that it was time for us to see Avasarala's walk-in closet and bedazzled vanity: THANK YOU!

Avasarala's wardrobe is always glorious, but this season, it's also reflective of her character development.  I don't know if she's losing her soul to the election so much as her true self is being revealed.  She's worn an increasing amount of pants this season and in the most recent episode, in the scene of her walking down the hallway, I wasn't sure she was wearing anything traditional at all until they panned down from her very masculine jacket to a more feminine skirt.

We've been leading up to this moment since season one, when Frank told that story about realizing that even as a child, she'd do anything to win. She's hid these more aggressive qualities behind her feminine clothes and soft hair and jewelry, but as the pressure increases, the real Avasarala comes out, the "masculine" qualities she spent years hiding behind her Matriarch persona.  It helps that moving to Amazon allows more cursing too :). 

I don't think it's necessarily a surprise that this is her narrative arc this season, but I wanted to highlight how much I enjoyed her clothes reflecting that journey.  

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1 hour ago, Lila82 said:

It helps that moving to Amazon allows more cursing too :). 

I have been saying that all season!  We finally get her on the same level with the book where every other word is an F bomb.  She really using cursing as a disarming tool in the books.  

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Well I never thought I would say this, but thank goodness for radiation poisoning! I was sure Holden was immune because of his Miller alien ghost connection, but I like that it was actually something more mundane. Well, as mundane as taking anti cancer shots because of that time you got drenched in radiation while trying to save the universe can be. 

Oh Amos, his meltdown was really hard to watch, especially when he wandered into the death slug area, clearly totally out of it, and Holden was rather frantically trying to get him to come back, and then when Holden was begging him to hold it together and saying how he couldn't do this without him, oh you guys! One good thing that came out of being trapped on this awful death world, it has at least led to some nice Holden and Amos bonding, even if its under terrible circumstances. They sure have come a long way from season one where Amos was casually telling Holden that he was trying to come up with reasons not to kill him and Holden was thinking about kicking him off the ship because he could be so unpredictable. Damn, whatever Amos was flashing back to when he lost his sight was just....brrrr. The tidbits of Amos's backstory we get only really come in two flavors: Kind of funny and quirky, and utterly horrifying, especially in what is being said between the lines.

We get a glimpse behind the magic by seeing Chrisjens wardrobe closet, and its all that I dreamed it would be! Everything that Chrisjen wears is instantly iconic, but the gold and black outfit she wore to the memorial is definitely in her top five outfits. While she certainly was playing politics with her speech (even playing the dead son card) I do think that she meant most of it on some level, especially the parts with her son. And while her releasing the footage of the massive clusterfuck that is New Terra was questionable in its legality, people should know what they are getting into when it comes to exploring new worlds (death slugs!!) willy nilly. I get wanting to explore these new worlds, but people should be aware that there are risks, and that the Garden of Eden might not necessarily be waiting for them. 

So Bobbies crime boss actually has a family, and can be a pretty reasonable guy, when he isnt kidnapping teens. Come on dude, we meet your nice family? This is your last job before you leave the criminal life behind? Bobbie is saying she has a bad feeling about this? You are seriously living dangerously here! It really is sad seeing Mars falling apart like this, they have really lost their purpose as a nation and a culture, while the new planets is an amazing opportunity for a new life for many Earthers and Belters, for Martians, it could mean the end of their dream that they built their lives around. Bobbie, I know your going through a lot, but dont take it out on your cute boyfriend! 

 Chad L. Coleman finally returns! However, his return leads to the (at least temporary) end of the Drummer and Ashford partnership, and I was really sad to see them go their separate ways, I have so enjoyed them together! I could get both of their points, that Drummer is afraid that they will become just another imperial power, hurting others in the name of self interest, and Ashford thinks that they need to play the game if they want to secure a future for their people. It made me wonder what an Ashford and Chrisjen conversation would be like, they seem to be sort of operation on the same wavelength this season, despite their many differences. But first, Ashford really wants to see Marcos smug pretty face floating outside without a helmet! That last bit where Drummer looked sadly back at Ashford makes me think that she is thinks this is the last time she will see him, and that just makes me way too sad! 

Oh crap, Miller is on the fritz! Have you tried turning him off and on again, Holden?

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Nice to see Fred Johnson again, but I'm always going to side with Drummer. Someone on Reddit described as having "resting furious face" and I absolutely love it. It's so rare to see her smile and laugh, though, and also quite rare to see her look as sad as she did when she said goodbye to Ashford. 

Ashford leaving to hunt down Marco? I have a bad feeling about this.

Amos losing his shit is more unnerving than deadly slugs. It's understandable, because this is probably the first time he's felt vulnerable and powerless since he was a child. For a guy like him, having that element of power and control over a situation is absolutely crucial.

"Hey, Holden, do you have any medical conditions that might affect how an infectious organism would see you as a potential host?"

"No, nothing.... Oh, except the massive dose of radiation I got hit with, and the anti-cancer drugs I take regularly to deal with it."

"Okay, we need to be sure. Jam this needled into your eye, please." Gah.

I love when we get to see the ingenuity and creativity that Belters use to solve problems. They live in a world where people who aren't smart enough simply don't survive. The ability to come up with novel solutions must be crucial to their existence. I loved the exchange between Holden and Naomi:

"All we did was buy more time."

"And that's what we'll keep doing."

That's all you can do, as a Belter.

I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop, with Bobbie. I don't care about her love interest or the still-not-sympathetic corrupt cop and his gang, I just want her to hook back up with Avasarala and/or the Roci crew.

But I'm glad they spelled out the new reality for Mars - the new worlds mean the end of the terraforming dream. It's no longer needed, so why devote your life to creating that garden? Some people are still carrying on because it's what they've always done, but the dream is dead. It's really sad to see Bobbie come to realise this, remembering how passionate a believer she was, when we first met her.

Avasarala's storyline took a really interesting turn. I like that the show isn't scared of making her unlikable, and asking viewers to consider whether some of the things we admire most about her are actually things we should be concerned about.

Edited by Danny Franks
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On 12/16/2019 at 5:34 AM, MissLucas said:

The way Drummer looked at Ashford before she left his ship tells me that she does not expect to see him again and broke my heart a little.

For me, it was their conversation overlooking Medina Station. I loved how they were commiserating, even though I knew it probably meant Ashford is not long for this world.

Loved seeing Fred Johnson again! I wonder how long Drummer will be able to stay out of politics.

Bobbie's discussion with Esai was fascinating. Mars built its entire society around terraforming. They couldn't have known the Ring Gate would appear and give all of humanity access to new worlds, so why would they even plan for that? Now, with those 1300+ new systems available, what does that mean for the dream of Mars? I also loved Bobbie's conversation with her nephew David. He's so excited about getting called up to the terraforming project. Bobbie looked wistful at his enthusiasm, as if she was thinking "Yeah, that was me once, and look where it got me." I've found the entire Mars storyline this season endlessly fascinating.

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Bobbie, I know your going through a lot, but dont take it out on your cute boyfriend! 

I know, right! Poor Thomas. I think he's a good guy, and I believe he was being sincere when he asked Bobbie to go to Europa with him. Poor Bobbie, she may see the dream of Mars dying, but I don't think she's ready to let go of it.

Glitchy Miller was freaky to watch. I wonder how the VFX team did that (Related aside: both the VFX and costume design teams need to get some kind of recognition for their work this season. They've both been top notch)

The recast of Arjun was a bit jarring, but the new actor has grown on me. I like his bantering/bickering with Chrisjen. I get why he was angry at her for invoking their son's death at the Marine's memorial, but Chrisjen was right: he wanted her to play the political game, so he can't exactly act surprised/appalled that she's going to any length to win the election.

Elvi and Holden finding the cure for the blinding organism was a nice moment. I liked seeing them laugh with relief at something finally going right.

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Poor Chrisjen. For once she didn't find it easy for her fabulous wardrobe to give her the armor she needed.

Hmm, being paid a ton to transport an important package but they're not allowed to know what the package is. Sure hope it's not Baby Yoda.

Aw, Bobby caught feelings for her fcuk buddy. 🙁 And he actually wanted to take things to the next level.

Murtry still needs killing.

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“Hold this for me and we’ll drink it when I get back.”

”This is my last job. I just want to make a better life for my family.”

Were there ever two more definitive statements that meant “Yeah, I’m gonna die”?

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The character moments for Holden&Amos and Drummer&Ashford were gorgeous. As was Alex laughing as he was pulling into higher orbit. As was Chrisjen at the memorial. Some poignancy, some beauty, some love, and some joy in a really dark season.

I don’t get General “I Resign”—that felt like it came from left field. When they had the intel he only gave the two options, and he didn’t say, “I really don’t like this one—it’s too dangerous,” or “Let’s wait for more info,” or “Why don’t we boot it back to OPA to handle.” 

Of the two choices on the table, it was wiping out the whole ship of innocents without an actual current visual confirmation, or board and get visual confirmation and attempt an arrest with fewer civilian casualties. It was the better choice.

It’s also the better choice to show the public the dangers of Ilus/New Terra, and I don’t know why she waited this long to do it. 

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On 12/23/2019 at 12:42 PM, Danny Franks said:

Nice to see Fred Johnson again, but I'm always going to side with Drummer.

I really miss the solid relationship between Fred and Drummer. They were so in sync in season 2 (and part of season 3). Hoping we'll see them have some kind of rapprochement in season 5.

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On 12/21/2019 at 3:26 AM, tennisgurl said:

So Bobbies crime boss actually has a family, and can be a pretty reasonable guy, when he isnt kidnapping teens. Come on dude, we meet your nice family? This is your last job before you leave the criminal life behind? Bobbie is saying she has a bad feeling about this? You are seriously living dangerously here!

He was only one. week. from. retirement.

Fun fact, I can't even put eye drops in my eyes so Holden poking into his was worse than the slugs, sorry. 

This episode really drove home that everyone is fighting over nothing. The worlds they're fighting over? Are nothing but Siren songs.

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On 12/24/2019 at 11:50 AM, Gillian Rosh said:

both the VFX and costume design teams need to get some kind of recognition for their work this season. They've both been top notch

A-fucking-men to that. Shorter's score, too, has been incredible this season. I wonder if there's any chance, with the increased exposure the Amazon platform has given the show, that it might actually get nominated for some technical Emmys. I'm not expecting any nominations for Wes Chatham or Cara Gee -- those would be well-earned, but history suggests they'd never happen. But sometimes shows like this win for things like costuming, musical score, VFX, and that kinda thing. It would be awesome to see that.

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On 12/20/2019 at 8:26 AM, tennisgurl said:

Damn, whatever Amos was flashing back to when he lost his sight was just....brrrr. The tidbits of Amos's backstory we get only really come in two flavors: Kind of funny and quirky, and utterly horrifying, especially in what is being said between the lines.

That scene blew me away. "I thought I was dead, so there was nothing I could do." Heartbreaking.

 

On 12/18/2019 at 7:24 AM, Lila82 said:

Avasarala's wardrobe is always glorious, but this season, it's also reflective of her character development.  I don't know if she's losing her soul to the election so much as her true self is being revealed.  She's worn an increasing amount of pants this season and in the most recent episode, in the scene of her walking down the hallway, I wasn't sure she was wearing anything traditional at all until they panned down from her very masculine jacket to a more feminine skirt.

I may be wrong, but I thought that outfit had a skirt on one leg, and the other looked more like a pants leg. Which kind of fits in, actually.

On 1/12/2020 at 12:46 PM, AudienceofOne said:

Fun fact, I can't even put eye drops in my eyes so Holden poking into his was worse than the slugs, sorry.

I had my head turned for the entire scene. I can take all manner of gross and disgusting without reacting much. But if it involves eyes, I can't handle it.

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